Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution Lawyer :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Aggravated promotion of prostitution is a crime in Texas that provides the police the authority to arrest the suspect if they believe he or she runs or assists in the operation of a “prostitution enterprise” engaging at least two prostitutes.
Chapter 43 of the Texas Penal Code defines aggravated promotion of prostitution as a free-standing offense from that of the promotion of prostitution. In other words, an aggravated promotion of prostitution charge in Texas isn’t an enhancement of promotion of prostitution. It’s much more serious.
If you have been charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution, you need an experienced Texas prostitution attorney now.
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Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution in Texas
The offense of aggravated promotion of prostitution is defined in Texas Penal Code Section 43.04. It says that an individual commits the crime of aggravated promotion of prostitution if he or she knowingly manages, finances, controls, is an investor in, or otherwise controls at least two prostitutes in a prostitution enterprise.
Note that the statute doesn’t describe or define the meaning of prostitution enterprise. (Section 43.02 of the Texas Penal Code defines the meaning of prostitute.)
Comparing Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution to Promotion of Prostitution in Texas
The major difference between aggravated promotion of prostitution to the promotion of prostitution involves the number of individuals selling sexual favors for money (prostitutes) engaged by the enterprise:
- Promotion of prostitution involves knowingly receiving money, goods, or something else of value from an individual prostitute.
- Aggravated prostitution involves the offender’s participation in the endeavors of two or more prostitutes.
Promotion of prostitution is considered a lesser prostitution crime in Texas. If convicted, the offender faces a state jail felony (H.B. 29, 2017), or 180 days – two years in a Texas state jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution Charges and Punishments
An individual may be charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution if prosecutors believe he or she meets elements described in Texas Penal Code Section 43.04(a).
If a defendant is convicted of the crime of aggravated promotion of prostitution in Texas, the offender faces a second-degree felony. The default punishments for an aggravated promotion of prostitution conviction were increased in 2017. (H.B. 29, 2017)
He or she may face first-degree felony punishments if the enterprise used the services of a prostitute younger than age 18 (whether the defendant realized the prostitute was younger than 18 years old or if he or she didn’t inform the enterprise of his or her true age).
If convicted of a first-degree felony, the offender faces a minimum of five years and up to 99 years to life in a Texas prison and a $10,000 fine.
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Contact a Texas Prostitution Attorney
If you or someone you care about is facing a felony charge involving the aggravated promotion of prostitution or a related offense, realize that you need an experienced Texas prostitution defense attorney now.
You have the right to remain silent. Don’t speak with police or investigators without a knowledgeable prostitution lawyer present. Call The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp in Houston at 713-868-6100 24/7 to request an initial case evaluation.